Red Bull doesn’t want Verstappen to change F1 approach

Red Bull do not want Max Verstappen to change his approach to Formula 1, despite the criticism he has faced amid his title fight against Lewis Hamilton. 
Red Bull doesn’t want Verstappen to change F1 approach

Verstappen enters this weekend’s season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tied on points with Hamilton, with the pair set for a winner-takes-all championship showdown on Sunday. 

Ahead of the Abu Dhabi weekend, Verstappen claimed he has been unfairly singled out by F1’s stewards after he was hit with two penalties for clashing with Hamilton at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix. 

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner believes that Hamilton and the "Mercedes media machine” have helped push the “Mad Max” narrative against Verstappen this season in an attempt to apply pressure to the Dutchman. 

But Horner insists he wants his star driver to retain his aggressive approach despite the criticism he has received.

“Max drives in a manner that ignites passion, it has brought fans into the sport, it’s brought new fans into the sport this year and we do not want him to change,” Horner said on Friday. 

“We want him to drive in exactly the manner that he has that’s put him on a precipice of competing with Lewis for this world championship. 

"It’s been great to see the new fans coming into the sport this year, the young fans coming in and that, in a large part, is because of what he’s been doing and the way he drives, the way he has taken on the greatest driver of all time, the most winning driver, the biggest champion. 

“I think that all credit is deserved on that, and of course the mental pressure on a young man with the scrutiny that he’s had has been immense this year and the way he’s conducted himself, the way he’s handled that.” 

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W12.
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB16B and Lewis Hamilton (GBR)…

Verstappen will seal his maiden world title if he finishes ahead of Hamilton. He also holds a countback advantage in the event of a tie by virtue of winning nine races to Hamilton’s eight. 

FIA race director Michael Masi served a reminder to the drivers prior to the weekend that any unsporting conduct could result in a points deduction. 

“We’ve obviously talked about the weekend and the most important thing is for him to enjoy this weekend,” Horner replied when asked what the team had told Verstappen in the build-up to biggest weekend of his F1 career. 

“For him to give his best, to drive exactly as he has in the previous 21 races, to attack the weekend in the way that he has, that has given him those nine victories, that has taken him to this point of being tied on points with Lewis. I think he has to enjoy it. 

“He has driven phenomenally well. Since the summer break we haven’t had the strongest car and I think it is Max who has kept us in this championship. It’s the way he has extracted performances.” 

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